…[T]here have been tremendous advances in studying women’s health issues and including women in drug trials and clinical studies. Most of those changes followed a 1993 mandate by the National Institutes of Health that women be included in such studies.
But when it comes to basic science – studying the molecular mechanics of diseases in cells and tissues and in mice and rats – almost all of the work is on subjects with the male XY chromosome pairing.
Stanford, at least, is aiming to dig into that problem with the creation of a new center focused on sex and gender in health. The Stanford Center for Health Research on Women and Sex Differences in Medicine officially opens Wednesday with a conference on sex, gender and the brain, at which [Louann Brizendine], now a UCSF psychiatrist who has written two books on the male and female brain, is speaking.
“For just about everything in medical science, we’re still very male-focused,” said Marcia Stefanick, an obstetrics and gynecology professor at Stanford who is co-director of the new center. “Our basic understanding is missing a key ingredient, and that is the sex difference.”